Icon Akimov 102.216 «Sts. Sophia and Her Three Daughters, Faith, Hope, and Charity (Love). A Prayer»
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"Among the first martyresses for Christ (+ 137) were the girls named after the the cardinal Christian virtues: Faith (Πίστη – Pistis, in Greek), Hope (греч. Ελπίς – Elpis), Charity (Αγάπη – Agape). They are commemorated together with their mother, a Milanese widow whose name was Sophia (Αγία Σοφία, in Greek), which meant «wisdom». By religious tradition the original Greek names of daughters – Pistis, Elpis and Agape – were translated, except their mother’s name, who remained Sophia. Faith was twelve, Hope was ten, and Charity was nine when the girls had to take the crowns of martyrdom.
«Sts. Sophia and Her Three Daughters, Faith, Hope, and Charity (Love). A Prayer»According to legend the mother brought Faith, Hope, and Charity up in Christian devoutness. Hearing about that Emperor Hadrian tried to seduce them out of Christian way and make worshipping Artemis. First he promised to endow them lavishly, and later threatened. But the girls were strong in their Christianity. Then the Emperor ordered Sophia’s daughters being subjected to brutal tortures, but they miraculously remained unharmed and died only after bein decapitated by executioner.
Sophia was near her daughters all the time. She put their bodies into one coffin, and buried into a high hill, and stayed by the grave for three days until she reposed in the Lord. The believers buried her together with the daughters. She donated persons that she held dearest of all –three virtuous daughters of her – to the Most Holy Trinity.
The believers cannot help having been not indifferent to the act of faith of the mother and her three small daughters during many centuries. St. Sophia was consecrated a martyr because she as well suffered for Christ if not bodily, but in her heart. Holy martyresses are loved and worshipped in all the Christendom. They are prayed for patience, steadfastness and courage in troubles, as well as for hope, faith and love of course. “O Sts. Faith, Hope, and Charity, and wise mother of yours, Sophia, we invoke zealously your hearty intercession with God” – is written on the small icon reverse.
Relics of the holy martyresses have at first been in Rome, staying in Alsace since 8th century. They are commemorated at September 30 (17)."
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